Military History Lecture Series at Florence Library

By  | August 22, 2019 | Filed under: News
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Matt Osborne

 FLORENCE​Veteran and writer Matt Osborne will present a series of lectures on military history at Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. These lectures will be on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm, beginning September 3 and concluding on December 3.


Osborne will speak on the following topics:


Tuesday, September 3, 5:30 pm – Warrior on Ice

War has a history, including a prehistory. To resolve centuries of controversy over the origins of organized violence, this lecture will examine the evidence around the famous “ice man,” a 5,300 year-old mummy discovered in the Alps, in the context of what we know about his world. Was it more peaceful than ours, or has all our civilization made us more civil? Recommended reading for this lecture is ​War Before Civilization​ by Lawrence Keeley.


Tuesday, October 1, 5:30 pm – A Brief History of Radio Waves at War

Radio is the defining technology of modern military history, allowing near-instant command of faraway forces for the first time in human history. This lecture traces the arrival of radio signal and electronic warfare from before the First World War, to the many uses of radar in the Second World War, through Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and into our 21st Century conflicts. Recommended reading for this lecture is ​Intelligence in War​ by John Keegan.


Tuesday, November 5, 5:30 pm – What Really Sunk Your Battleship

Battleships are the iconic naval warfare platform of the 20th Century. But how effective were these monster machines in the role for which they were built? This lecture will trace the disastrous history of battleships, focusing on their dubious safety record and surprising lack of accomplishments, to ask whether the pride of the fleet was a dangerous money-pit. Recommended reading for this lecture is ​The Battleship Book​ by Robert M. Farley.


Tuesday, December 3, 5:30 pm – False Light: December of the Damned

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 is among the most enduring myths of the last century. This lecture will uncover the real story: a series of local truces took place throughout December at the direction of commanders, serving their purposes, and carefully stage-managed at every point. These events have been misinterpreted and imbued with false light ever since. Recommended reading for this lecture is ​The Christmas Truce: Myth, Memory, and the First World War​ by Terri Blom Crocker.


Matt Osborne is a US Army signals intelligence veteran and website news beat editor turned social media consultant. He is working on a book of essays about war and conflict, including “Brain Bucket: a Social History of War, Football, Helmets, and Head Injury,” which is already published at

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